Who can relate? I’d love to hear from you! Please comment with your experience! Here’s mine…
Prior to 2013, my plans were to continue moving up the career ladder within the business banking division of the large financial institution I had worked in for 7 years. I was making great money, working really hard, and I didn’t hate what I did for a living at the time.
In August of that year, everything fell apart. I was diagnosed with Bipolar II. My fairly consistent hypo-mania turned to the darkest depression I had ever known. It completely turned my world upside down, shook it, tossed it around, chopped it, abused it, and then gave it back to me and expected that I should know what to do with it. How was going to put Humpty Dumpty back together again?
As I started feeling better, I knew I would have to return to work, so I began to think back at what I had interest in before money drove my career decisions.
From 14 until 20, I was certain I’d be a touring musician. At 25, I wasn’t certain what I wanted to do, but I was motivated by money and didn’t want to go back to school. At 30, I was confident that I’d be in banking until I retired. Since 2013, I’ve aspired to open a plus size clothing store, become a stylist/personal shopper, open a studio where you paint/do crafts while drinking craft beer and craft soda, music therapist, psychologist, songwriter, jingle writer, blogger, author, and the list goes on and on.
I had so many ideas, but nothing seemed to stick. I realized that I was paralyzed with fear. So, I went back to banking in 2015 after 1.5 years on disability income from my private insurance. Even though my heart knew it wasn’t the right choice, I took the job. I knew it wouldn’t be the best decision for my mental health, but I thought that I had learned so much in therapy and through educating myself about my diagnosis, that I’d be equipped to handle things in a healthier and more responsible manner.
Newsflash. I know it’s hard to believe, but I was wrong (don’t tell my husband). The stress got to me and I fell apart again after less than one year on the job. It happened quickly and I ended up in a dark pit of depression again.
My meds were adjusted, I went to more therapy sessions, I started Electro-convulsive Therapy (ECT – I’ll post about this soon), I stayed hidden away at home, and the cycle started all over again.
Here we are today, nearing the end of 2017 and I am still trying to figure out what I’m going to do when I grow up (at 36 years young). I know I’m not the only one that struggles with that question, mental illness or not. It’s a tough one.
Please share your thoughts, experience, comments with me! I’d love to hear from you!